Today we’re speaking with Stanislava Sarikova. She’s an amazing tattoo artist whose art is to capture the essence of each person and translate it into insanely beautiful body art.
The first thing you notice when you look at her work is a sense of connectedness, as if the tattoo had always belonged to the person. She gives this organic and seamless feeling by customizing each tattoo to the flow of each person.
Another thing that really catches the eye is how Stanislava’s tattoos always flatter the body of the client. Whether by following the muscle, or by aligning with the curves, it creates a sense of symmetry and belonging.
It’s not everyday that we get to speak with an artist who dominates dotwork, fineline and black & grey tattoos. She also works mostly with natural elements, such as fauna and flora.
She’s a rising star who regularly travels around europe so the best way to book a tattoo with her is by following her on Instagram. So go ahead and do that so you don’t miss out.
Let’s get to know Stanislava, how her career and tattoo style have been developing and how she projects her art to evolve over time.
Can you tell us how you became the artist you are today?
I adhere to the idea that all life is a continuous process of formation and becoming each of us as a person. It is new interests, new skills, development of abilities. Everything is intertwined, so my whole life up to this point is a process of formation, including as a tattoo artist.
If to try to simplify everything and to operate with dry facts, I loved graphics, drew and once came to a conclusion that tattooing is the best sphere for me to realize my own potential.
And here I am.
For those who aren’t familiar with your tattoo work, how would you describe your art?
Oh, it’s simple: the spirit of the dark forest, its inhabitants and botany. Generally I think that in case of any visual art verbal descriptions by default become secondary, because no matter how eloquent you are, it is impossible to fully describe everything you do with your hands. So in a situation like this, I’d rather just show some of my work – it would simplify things 🙂
I know your tattoos are very much focused on the person who’s receiving the tattoo, which is beautiful. Can you expand on that philosophy a bit more please?
Oh, this is actually an interesting question, as I hadn’t even considered that this approach could be interpreted philosophically. In general, the entire philosophy is centered in one simple thing: I believe that a tattoo should resonate with its wearer. This, in my opinion, must be expressed in the composition, dynamics, contrast and, of course, the storyline of the tattoo. Therefore I try to put the maximum of my efforts in order to realize wishes of the person through a prism of own vision. And I think that this is what allows me to focus first of all on the person and the reflection of her or his inner world.
Where does the inspiration for your tattoos come from?
To be honest, I am one of those people who believes that inspiration does not exist. I believe in motivation and work, because these are the two factors that allow us to grow over ourselves (whatever our occupation).
If we are talking about drawing in general, any images that appear in our head are a compilation of our interests, visual images from life and images already created by someone else. So when some idea comes to me (what I would like to draw), I live with it for a few days. During this time it takes approximate shape and I just sit down to realize it.
If we’re talking about tattoos, then most of the work is the realized ideas of my clients. When working with other people’s ideas it is enough for me to have an understanding of what should be depicted in a tattoo, in what size and on what part of the body. All that is needed is to apply my knowledge and skills to first draw a good sketch on the basis of this, and then turn it into a tattoo.
And how’s the process of getting a tattoo from you? Do people bring their ideas and drawings? Or do they ask you to surprise them?
I’ve never did surprise tattoos 🙂 Not because I don’t want to, I just haven’t had such a request.
In general, I have made a convenient form on my website. In order to be consulted about idea, a person should fill it out and describe in detail what kind of tattoo she/he wants, on what place, in what size, and should also attach images that will illustrate his idea. Based on this, we discuss the idea and I come up with an option that we both like. Then by the appointed date of the session I draw a sketch. And this is the most common format of interaction. There are very rare occasions when a person sends me a sketch that he or she has made on their own. And in fact, I am so happy about it every time, for I find it very cute. But in all the time I’ve been doing tattoos, it’s happened 3 times at most.
Did you ever have a tattoo project that didn’t go as you’d expect? And how did you deal with it?
I have two stories about this.
The first story. Every time I start a big project, I have fears that it will drag on indefinitely. For example, I have several sleeves started but not finished (with some clients, the break between sessions lasts from six months to several years – huge breaks for big projects). The chances of finishing these tattoos for a number of reasons are almost zero, so every time I think of it, I just practice acceptance. I think these are precisely the circumstances that are not of my choosing and that I am not in a position to influence. In that case, why worry in vain?
The second story. Several years ago I had to make a sleeve for a guy who worked as a designer. At the time it seemed to me that if the man worked in this sphere, it would make our interaction easier, but in fact it turned out differently. Despite the fact that we clearly discussed the idea of a future tattoo (who is depicted, in what perspective, how it should look like), he changed his wishes and refused to listen to what I advised. All my recommendations regarding the positioning of the character, the rotation of his head, the composition, the location of the tattoo on the body, etc. were ignored. I tried to make arguments, but it was useless. In the end he drew a sketch himself where the character had problems with proportions and perspective and I tattooed it from this picture.
It was our first and only session and after that any further collaboration was out of the question. It seemed impossible to me if only because the guy actually needed a tattooist as a printer who would just do what he wanted. And this is not quite the right approach, because a tattoo is not just a picture on the skin. The design has to be suitable for the chosen place, it has to be proportionate, you have to take into account the level of detail in the development of the sketch… There is a huge quantity of technical points about which a person can simply not know and a tattooist’s task is to tell the person about all this and to explain how it is possible to make so that tattoo looked excellent.
I don’t want to be a printer, because it’s very important to me to do really good and interesting projects. It allows me to improve my own skills and stay interested in my work. After all, why would I want to do tattoos that would look bad and not fit in with the person’s anatomy?
I spent a long time reflecting on why this situation happened and how it could be avoided. Since then, I have improved my communication skills, learned to better identify needs and learned to say no to a client if I feel we can’t work together. My refusals are very rare, but they do happen. So we can say that this story with the sleeve has ultimately benefited me and helped me to improve the process of interaction with people.
What would you say is your biggest challenge at the moment?
I would point out two things.
The first is trying to produce a result that exceeds my current abilities. Both in terms of drawing and in terms of tattooing. This is a constant part of my life, so I can’t say it’s only a feature of the current time frame.
The second is that communicating in English was a big challenge for me. I knew English at an intermediate level, but I had absolutely no conversational practice and no practice using it at work. So now I am trying to improve my language skills.
How do you see your art developing in the future?
I don’t have a clear answer to that question yet. I plan to spend more time on freehand practice, participate in tattoo conventions and make a collection of my own merch. But the last two are more long-term plans, because they involve staying in one place, and I’m spending a lot of time traveling for now.
For those who want to get some ink from you, what’s the best way to contact you, where can they meet you, and, on average, how long do they have to wait to get their session?
It is possible to contact me by writing a message on Instagram (if you need to ask a question), or by writing to the mail, or if you have a formed idea, you can fill out a form on the website https://sarikovatattoo.com/ and I will definitely write a reply letter.
I have a bit of a nomadic lifestyle so far, but I keep waiting lists and plan regular visits to Europe. So I can’t give a clear answer to the question of wait times for sessions and locations. The best bet is to follow my moves on Instagram and sign in on the waitlist, because the waitlist guys are the ones I email first when I’m planning a trip somewhere.
If you could leave a message to your future clients, what would it be?
If at all possible, I would like to leave a message for all people who are planning a tattoo.
A tattoo is partly a collaborative effort, where you trust the artist to realize your idea. Therefore choose the tattooist guided first of all by her or his portfolio. It is important that you liked what the person does (both art and tattoos). Listen to advice of your future tattoo artist and do not be afraid of large-scale projects. Well and lastly – do not skimp on tattoos. There are no awesome tattoos for cheap, and skin is something that stays with us for life (and even outlives us a little bit ourselves). Therefore it is important to approach wisely to a choice of the tattoo artist that the tattoo brings you pleasure, instead of regret of made.
Make sure you follow Stanislava on Instagram @sarikova.tattoo and show your love for her art.
Did you enjoy this interview? And who would you like to see next? Request your favorite artists via [email protected]